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1.  An insight into the sialotranscriptome of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:450.
Background
Rhipicephalus sanguineus, known as the brown dog tick, is a common ectoparasite of domestic dogs and can be found worldwide. R.sanguineus is recognized as the primary vector of the etiological agent of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis. Here we present the first description of a R. sanguineus salivary gland transcriptome by the production and analysis of 2,034 expressed sequence tags (EST) from two cDNA libraries, one consctructed using mRNA from dissected salivary glands from female ticks fed for 3-5 days (early to mid library, RsSGL1) and the another from ticks fed for 5 days (mid library, RsSGL2), identifying 1,024 clusters of related sequences.
Results
Based on sequence similarities to nine different databases, we identified transcripts of genes that were further categorized according to function. The category of putative housekeeping genes contained ~56% of the sequences and had on average 2.49 ESTs per cluster, the secreted protein category contained 26.6% of the ESTs and had 2.47 EST's/clusters, while 15.3% of the ESTs, mostly singletons, were not classifiable, and were annotated as "unknown function". The secreted category included genes that coded for lipocalins, proteases inhibitors, disintegrins, metalloproteases, immunomodulatory and antiinflammatory proteins, as Evasins and Da-p36, as well as basic-tail and 18.3 kDa proteins, cement proteins, mucins, defensins and antimicrobial peptides. Comparison of the abundance of ESTs from similar contigs of the two salivary gland cDNA libraries allowed the identification of differentially expressed genes, such as genes coding for Evasins and a thrombin inhibitor, which were over expressed in the RsSGL1 (early to mid library) versus RsSGL2 (mid library), indicating their role in inhibition of inflammation at the tick feeding site from the very beginning of the blood meal. Conversely, sequences related to cement (64P), which function has been correlated with tick attachment, was largely expressed in the mid library.
Conclusions
Our survey provided an insight into the R. sanguineus sialotranscriptome, which can assist the discovery of new targets for anti-tick vaccines, as well as help to identify pharmacologically active proteins.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-450
PMCID: PMC3091647  PMID: 20650005
2.  The expression of genes coding for distinct types of glycine-rich proteins varies according to the biology of three metastriate ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Amblyomma cajennense 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:363.
Background
Ticks secrete a cement cone composed of many salivary proteins, some of which are rich in the amino acid glycine in order to attach to their hosts' skin. Glycine-rich proteins (GRPs) are a large family of heterogeneous proteins that have different functions and features; noteworthy are their adhesive and tensile characteristics. These properties may be essential for successful attachment of the metastriate ticks to the host and the prolonged feeding necessary for engorgement. In this work, we analyzed Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) similar to GRPs from cDNA libraries constructed from salivary glands of adult female ticks representing three hard, metastriate species in order to verify if their expression correlated with biological differences such as the numbers of hosts ticks feed on during their parasitic life cycle, whether one (monoxenous parasite) or two or more (heteroxenous parasite), and the anatomy of their mouthparts, whether short (Brevirostrata) or long (Longirostrata). These ticks were the monoxenous Brevirostrata tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, a heteroxenous Brevirostrata tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and a heteroxenous Longirostrata tick, Amblyomma cajennense. To further investigate this relationship, we conducted phylogenetic analyses using sequences of GRPs from these ticks as well as from other species of Brevirostrata and Longirostrata ticks.
Results
cDNA libraries from salivary glands of the monoxenous tick, R. microplus, contained more contigs of glycine-rich proteins than the two representatives of heteroxenous ticks, R. sanguineus and A. cajennense (33 versus, respectively, 16 and 11). Transcripts of ESTs encoding GRPs were significantly more numerous in the salivary glands of the two Brevirostrata species when compared to the number of transcripts in the Longirostrata tick. The salivary gland libraries from Brevirostrata ticks contained numerous contigs significantly similar to silks of true spiders (17 and 8 in, respectively, R. microplus and R. sanguineus), whereas the Longirostrata tick contained only 4 contigs. The phylogenetic analyses of GRPs from various species of ticks showed that distinct clades encoding proteins with different biochemical properties are represented among species according to their biology.
Conclusions
We found that different species of ticks rely on different types and amounts of GRPs in order to attach and feed on their hosts. Metastriate ticks with short mouthparts express more transcripts of GRPs than a tick with long mouthparts and the tick that feeds on a single host during its life cycle contain a greater variety of these proteins than ticks that feed on several hosts.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-363
PMCID: PMC2901319  PMID: 20529354
3.  Ticks produce highly selective chemokine binding proteins with antiinflammatory activity 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(9):2019-2031.
Bloodsucking parasites such as ticks have evolved a wide variety of immunomodulatory proteins that are secreted in their saliva, allowing them to feed for long periods of time without being detected by the host immune system. One possible strategy used by ticks to evade the host immune response is to produce proteins that selectively bind and neutralize the chemokines that normally recruit cells of the innate immune system that protect the host from parasites. We have identified distinct cDNAs encoding novel chemokine binding proteins (CHPBs), which we have termed Evasins, using an expression cloning approach. These CHBPs have unusually stringent chemokine selectivity, differentiating them from broader spectrum viral CHBPs. Evasin-1 binds to CCL3, CCL4, and CCL18; Evasin-3 binds to CXCL8 and CXCL1; and Evasin-4 binds to CCL5 and CCL11. We report the characterization of Evasin-1 and -3, which are unrelated in primary sequence and tertiary structure, and reveal novel folds. Administration of recombinant Evasin-1 and -3 in animal models of disease demonstrates that they have potent antiinflammatory properties. These novel CHBPs designed by nature are even smaller than the recently described single-domain antibodies (Hollinger, P., and P.J. Hudson. 2005. Nat. Biotechnol. 23:1126–1136), and may be therapeutically useful as novel antiinflammatory agents in the future.
doi:10.1084/jem.20072689
PMCID: PMC2526197  PMID: 18678732

Results 1-3 (3)